Feds: Garner man used fake businesses to get $1.7M in PPP loans (WRAL)

WRAL: Feds: Garner man used fake businesses to get $1.7M in PPP loans. “A Garner man has been charged with fraudulently seeking more than $6 million in federal coronavirus relief money, authorities said Tuesday. An indictment unsealed Tuesday charges Tristan Bishop Pan, 38, with wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.”

No forgiveness: Small businesses still on hook for rescue loans (Politico)

Politico: No forgiveness: Small businesses still on hook for rescue loans. “When the government pledged to give small businesses billions of dollars in rescue loans during the pandemic, it was an offer almost too good to refuse: The loans could be forgiven if employers only maintained payroll. In little more than four months, the Paycheck Protection Program doled out $525 billion in loans to 5.2 million borrowers, which economists estimate saved millions of jobs. But to date, none of the loans have been forgiven.”

‘Doomed to fail’: Why a $4 trillion bailout couldn’t revive the American economy (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘Doomed to fail’: Why a $4 trillion bailout couldn’t revive the American economy. “The U.S. response to the coronavirus has already been the costliest economic relief effort in modern history. At $4 trillion, the assortment of grants, loans and tax breaks exceeded the cost of the Afghanistan war. More than half, or $2.3 trillion, went to businesses which in many cases were not required to show they were impacted by the pandemic or keep workers employed.”

Washington Post: How the Cares Act poured millions into corporate hands with no strings attached

Washington Post: How the Cares Act poured millions into corporate hands with no strings attached. “For pipeline company Antero Midstream, a firm at the forefront of the Appalachian fracking boom, the mammoth stimulus bill known as the Cares Act delivered a quick and happy benefit: a $55 million payment from the Treasury Department. The payment came with no strings attached. And although the legislation was partly tailored to help businesses keep people employed, Antero didn’t need to agree to hire or retain any workers. It didn’t need to promise to invest in its business. And it didn’t need to pledge to meet any new regulatory standards.”

ACAMS News: FinCEN Director Discusses COVID-19 Fraud Schemes, Suspicious Activity Reports

ACAMS News: FinCEN Director Discusses COVID-19 Fraud Schemes, Suspicious Activity Reports. “U.S. financial institutions have filed more than 91,000 SARs on potentially illicit payments related to the novel coronavirus pandemic since February, Ken Blanco, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said Tuesday. The bureau has also received ‘hundreds of inquiries’ related to anti-money laundering compliance issues during the pandemic, including questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, a $669 billion federal relief package designed to help struggling businesses pay their employees, Blanco told attendees of the ACAMS Virtual Las Vegas Conference.”

Salon: Invisible company owned by Rudy Giuliani got taxpayer-backed PPP money — but where did it go?

Salon: Invisible company owned by Rudy Giuliani got taxpayer-backed PPP money — but where did it go?. “A payroll company owned by Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, took between $150,000 and $350,000 in taxpayer-backed emergency small business loans this spring. It’s unclear what Giuliani did with the money.”

US Department of Justice: NFL Player Charged for Role in $24 Million COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme

US Department of Justice: NFL Player Charged for Role in $24 Million COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme. “A National Football League (NFL) player has been charged for his alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”

Department of Justice: Nine Charged with $24 Million COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme

Department of Justice: Nine Charged with $24 Million COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme. “The owner of a Florida talent management company and four others were charged in complaints unsealed yesterday for their alleged participation in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”

New York Times: U.S. Small Business Bailout Money Flowed to Chinese-Owned Companies

New York Times: U.S. Small Business Bailout Money Flowed to Chinese-Owned Companies. “Millions of dollars of American taxpayer money have flowed to China from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program that was created in March to be a lifeline for struggling small businesses in the United States. But because the economic relief legislation allowed American subsidiaries of foreign firms to receive the loans, a substantial chunk of the money went to America’s biggest economic rival, a new analysis shows.”

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program. “A federal watchdog reported Tuesday that it has identified $250 million in taxpayer-subsidized coronavirus loan funds given to ‘potentially ineligible recipients,’ pointing to a strong likelihood of widespread fraud in an important but troubled economic assistance program. The Small Business Administration’s office of inspector general launched numerous investigations after receiving more than 1,000 hotline complaints about potentially fraudulent transactions, according to a report released Tuesday. It also criticized the agency for allegedly failing to put in place internal controls to prevent abuse.”

Department of Justice: Florida Man who Used COVID-Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Sports Car Charged in Miami Federal Court

Department of Justice: Florida Man who Used COVID-Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Sports Car Charged in Miami Federal Court. “A Florida man was arrested and charged with fraudulently obtaining $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and using those funds, in part, to purchase a sports car for himself. Authorities seized a $318,000 sports car and $3.4 million from bank accounts at the time of arrest.”

ProPublica: The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers

ProPublica: The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers. “Companies typically seek contracted temp workers because they don’t have to pay them benefits and can pick them up and let them go easily. For sudden needs brought on by COVID-19, such as conducting temperature checks and sanitizing workplaces, staffing companies can recruit, vet, hire and supply workers on a few days’ notice. ‘It’s amazing, but our demand for services has just gone through the roof,’ said Charles Tope, the CEO of Monterey, California-based Employnet, which works in industries ranging from health care to warehousing. So it may come as a surprise that temp staffing companies like Employnet were among the biggest beneficiaries of small-business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to help hard-hit firms keep paying their employees.”

‘A Band-Aid on a bullet wound’: Workers are getting laid off anew as PPP runs out (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘A Band-Aid on a bullet wound’: Workers are getting laid off anew as PPP runs out. “The phone stopped ringing at the Nelsons’ auto-body shop in Broomfield, Colo., in March. The normal four-to-six-week wait for customers looking to have dents or bumps fixed on their cars disappeared, leaving the shop silent. Tammy Nelson and her husband, Scott, applied in April for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program — the federal government’s chaotic $660 billion aid program meant to help businesses and their workers stay afloat. But the PPP loan had only delayed the inevitable — the phone didn’t start ringing again amid the surging pandemic. Nelson laid off her five employees at the end of June, including herself and her husband. They are among the first wave of PPP layoffs happening across the country, as the loan program begins to expire.”

Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win. “Ever since the public backlash last April against some large, well-off or nationwide companies that helped themselves to emergency government funds intended to rescue small businesses during the pandemic, federal officials have vowed to crack down on any abuses of the popular program, also known as PPP. That effort is now underway with more than a dozen criminal cases filed in 11 states in recent weeks. All involve allegations of blatant fraud, such as lying on applications, falsifying tax or business records and misappropriating money. And most involve relatively small businesses or individual owners.”

Los Angeles Daily News: Local businesses find more errors in federal PPP loan data

Los Angeles Daily News: Local businesses find more errors in federal PPP loan data. “Loans from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, more commonly known as PPP, were meant to be a lifeline for local businesses navigating the coronavirus pandemic. It succeeded, by almost all accounts, but left news reporters across the country baffled when they found the data, released this month, riddled with errors. The size of some loans were overstated by millions — including one South Bay business whose $66,000 loan was somehow listed as between $5 to $10 million, this newsgroup found — while some were counted twice.”